I have come to quickly realize that many clients WANT to have a social media presence, yet since they have no idea HOW to have one, they turn to us. Still they don’t understand often, so much of my time as Director of Social Media is explain what I know how to do and qualify why am I doing it!

Hence, the Social Media FAQ……

What is the value of what we are doing on FaceBook and Twitter?

The question of how to measure the value of social media is huge within the marketing community. Some experts say you cannot measure it and some say that you can.  Googling “roi social media” will give you a whole slew of conflicting opinions. Of course, the debates have even cause the creation of the Social Media ROI Calculator!

This is my favorite quote today:

Part of the problem with trying to determine ROI for social media is you are trying to put numeric quantities around human interactions and conversations, which are not quantifiable.

We can put numbers on some aspects, however:

Facebook just reached the 225 million user mark.

As of 5/09, Facebook’s user base is larger than the populations of all the world’s countries except China. While the 5 million new users a week increase has quieted down somewhat, they continue to offer increased services such as this week one can sign into Facebook with their Open ID credentials, so the numbers will continue to grow. What’s more, Facebook growing most quickly among women older than 55 and is seen as a “stepping stone” to the internet. Many people still have a certain wariness of the internet, but the peer pressure to join Facebook and the concept of the controlled privacy allows formally hesitant folks to be exposed to brands for the social media marketing for the first time. Facebook has become the prime comfort zone for millions of people. Having a presence on Facebook is bringing your website to your consumers as opposed to waiting for them to find you. They might never. I like to think of a building a page on Facebook as “bringing the Mountain to Mohammed”.

Twitter’s growth rate is even more staggering. 

The latest numbers (3/09) from Nielsen Online indicate that Twitter grew 1,382% year-over-year in February, registering a total of just more than 7 million unique visitors in the US for the month. Not only is that huge growth in one year, but in one month as well, as in January, Twitter.com clocked in with 4.5 million unique visitors in the US, meaning the service grew by more than 50 percent month-over-month which has been said to be double the speed that Facebook grew when it was at the same age. Talk has been said that Twitter will somehow be the next search like Google.

The importance of social media has yet to be fully realized.

But, if you would like to wait around until you have a pure calcualted risk for your effort, you might just miss the whole thing.

“Ultimately, the key question to ask when measuring social media engagement is, ‘Are we getting what we want out of the conversation?'”

 And then, of course, we have to ask the client what it is that they really really want.  That’s another post!

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